Modifying and using the thermal infra-red radiation that causes the enhanced greenhouse effect

Ron Zevenhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, in the atmosphere absorb and emit thermal infra-red radiation (TIR) at different wavelengths, each with a certain bandwidth depending on pressure, temperature, path length and mixture composition, i.e. "optical thickness". Thus, the enhanced greenhouse effect is the result of these gases interfering with certain wavelengths of TIR radiation from earth to space. Therefore, as an alternative for reducing CO2 emissions from using carbon-containing fuels this paper will address: 1. how to modify the spectrum of the TIR radiation from earth, reducing the radiative forcing caused by atmospheric CO2? and 2. how to accomplish this by methods that allow for recovery of heat and/or power? Options exist for modifying the TIR spectrum from earth to space to different wavelengths or wavelength bands, using (mixtures of) so-called participating gases to create sufficient optical thickness to interfere with the TIR, focusing on the 15 μm band for CO2. Volumes (like a spacing between two windows) with different depths, CO2 volume fractions or pressures will have different emissivity (ε) and absorptivity (α) properties allow for creating temperature gradients or bodies with different temperatures. Heat engines or thermoelectric devices may be applied to generate power making use of this, using also the temperature difference between ground level surroundings (270-320 K) and sky (230-280 K). Calculations suggest that temperature gradients may be readily created using simple geometries. Power generation at several W/m2 is possible at energy conversion efficiencies similar to photovoltaic devices or transport vehicles with combustion engines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECOS 2008 - Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems
EditorsZygmunt Kolenda, Andrzej Ziebik, Wojciech Stanek
PublisherThe Silesian University of Technology
Pages1475-1482
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9788392238140
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event21st International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2008 - Cracow-Gliwice, Poland
Duration: 24 Jun 200827 Jun 2008

Publication series

NameECOS 2008 - Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems

Conference

Conference21st International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2008
Country/TerritoryPoland
CityCracow-Gliwice
Period24/06/0827/06/08

Keywords

  • CO
  • Heat and power generation
  • Thermal infra-red radiation

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